April 22, 2011

Animoto – Slideshows For the Tech-Savvy

Tired of family members falling asleep while you click through a slideshow of shots from your most recent vacation? A visit to may be in order. Animoto is a web-app that can take any photo slideshow from blah to bam. The video slideshow maker lets users integrate music and video clips into their snapshots. The result is a high quality video that looks as great when shown on a DVD as it does online.

Sign up for Animoto and select a pricing plan that fits your needs. Upload the images you’d like to use in your new video slideshow, or point Animoto to the location where the photos are already stored online – Animoto can pull your photos from Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, and other photo sharing tools with ease. Next, it’s time to start adding the text. You can write whatever you want, although the main goal should be to tell a story or share a message with your viewers. If you want to add music to your creation, then head to Animoto’s music library and start sampling tracks. If none of the tunes in Animoto’s library are sounding quite right, then you can upload your own and use that instead. Once your photos, videos, text, and music have all been combined, you’re ready to share your animated slideshow with others. Burn it onto a DVD, or send it out as a video greeting online via Facebook or YouTube. Animoto also gives you the code to embed the video on your very own website or blog.

When you upgrade from a free account and become a Plus or Pro user, you’ll be able to create longer slideshows in high-definition format. Pro account users can even get unbranded videos with commercial licenses, making Animoto ideal for companies of all sizes looking for new ways to make their advertising campaigns go viral online.

Practical Uses:

  • Turn your vacation photos into a fun-to-watch video slideshow
  • Create a 30 second promo clip to advertise your band’s new album
  • Advertise your services with a promotional video
  • Make a DVD of your baby’s first year to send to grandparents and friends

Insider Tips:

  • Animoto uses “Cinematic Artificial Intelligence technology” to analyze and combine images and music in an attractive way
  • All songs in Animoto’s music library are licensed for commercial use
  • Upgrade pricing plans to make unbranded videos
  • Animoto videos come in 360p, 480p, or 720p HD

What we liked:

  • Animoto is just as useful for businesses as it is for people looking to share snapshots with friends
  • Anyone can upload mp3 files to add their own music to a video slideshow
  • Videos are easy to share on social networking sites
  • Users can “remix” any of their video slideshows to see a new version instantly

What we didn’t like:

  • Users have to upgrade to paid accounts to get videos longer than 30 seconds


Company Info:

  • Launched: August 2007
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: New York, New York
  • Founded by: Tom Clifton, Jason Hsiao, and Stevie Clifton
  • Web site:


  • Lite account is free
  • Plus account is $5/month or $30/year
  • Pro account is $39/month or $249/year

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